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Windows® Embedded Migration to a New Embedded OS

If you’re a developer whose embedded application is currently based on a legacy Windows Embedded OS, are you prepared for when support for Windows CE 6.0 ends in 2017 and for Windows CE 7 in 2020? To be safe, you need to port or rewrite your applications for a new embedded OS now. Key factors to consider include:

  • Windows Embedded 8 and later versions aren’t compatible with WinCE 7 and earlier, so a move to Windows Embedded 8 means you’ll have to re-architect / overhaul your application.
  • Windows Embedded 8 doesn’t support the wide range of form factors (e.g. screen sizes) needed for embedded devices.
  • Running commonly used software such as Python and Node.js is not straight forward in WinCE.
Timesys is a Yocto Project Participant


Combined, Windows CE 6 and Windows CE 7 power more than ninety percent of embedded hand-held and POS devices.*

*Excludes mobile phones

Windows Embedded OS migration options are open source Linux or open source Android.

From a high-level architectural view, Windows and Linux are very similar. However, there are some challenges with porting due to the following:

  • Linux system calls are simply different.
  • There are likely to be differences between the I/O architecture.
  • Interprocess / interprocessor communication could be quite different.

High-Level View of Windows and Linux Architecture

a high-level view of Windows and Linux architecture

Timesys’ 4-Phase Embedded OS Migration Process

Timesys OS migration analysis phase


  • Analyze the existing product code and applications so as to understand design dependencies
  • Identify parameters critical to quality
  • Set acceptance criteria


Timesys OS migration gap and sizing phase

Gap Identification & Sizing

  • Investigate modules and frameworks so as to minimize the changes in user space apps
  • Examine third-party modules used, and find equivalent solution
  • Size the effort


Timesys OS migration port and optimize phase

Port & Optimize

  • Incrementally develop, test and demo agile methodology in short sprint
  • Implement performance optimizations
  • Perform system test
  • Meet acceptance criteria
Timesys OS migration deploy and support phase

Deploy & Support

  • Transfer knowledge
  • Assist during initial deployment phase
  • Provide technical phone support for initial deployment
  • Provide longer-term maintenance services and lifecycle support (available as needed)

Rely on Timesys to help you with Windows Embedded OS migration.

  • We provide tools that make embedded system development easy (Linuxlink, TimeStorm).
  • Our engineers have proven expertise in developing device drivers, BSPs, SDKs and embedded OS kernels including Linux and Android.
  • Our team consists of engineers with number of years of experience in Windows Embedded based ecosystem.
  • We have experience in porting applications onto Qt and Cordova or natively.
  • We provide a transparent 4-phase process for embedded OS migration.
  • We have a strong relationship with leading semiconductor companies and the open source community.
  • We can provide post-deployment support and maintenance services, as needed.
  • Our broad global reach ensures high customer satisfaction and greater productivity — no matter where our customers are located.

Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

Have a Windows® Embedded OS migration project you’d like to discuss?

We’d be happy to help you with your migration from Windows® Embedded to another open source embedded OS. For more information, fill out our online form, contact us or call us at 1.866.392.4897 (toll-free) or +1.412.232.3250.

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